A look at the Zenbivy Bed invention and first prototypes
What is the "invention"?
The Zenbivy Bed works because the internal circumference of the bag is adjustable, but cannot lose thermal seal. This patent-pending design allows the quilt to wrap around you or extend widely, stopping just before the quilt falls off the mattress. No other bag has ever achieved this, and its why the Zenbivy Bed can be as warm and light as a mummy, while allowing freedom of movement like your bed at home.
The bed you see today evolved over 7 major levels of prototyping, and several intermediate modifications of many of the prototype levels. In early prototypes, the "hinges" shown above were actually separate from the hood:
Between P4 and P5, we went through a lot of ruthless self-evaluation and soul-searching. We finally solved the hood interface issue and cleaned up the look by combining the hinges and the hood into a single element. We lightly insulated the "hinges" to make them feel unified with the rest of the design, and this was the prototype used for our initial promotional images. We also removed the convertible zippered footbox on P5, a feature we have since re-incorporated.
The original drawing of the Zenbivy Bed was done it November 2002, believe it or not. The prototype of "a quilt connected to a mattress by sheets" was produced but did not work well simple because it zipped at the edges of the quilt like "normal", so the fixed size was too large for warmth. Other than the key invention, It's amazing how close the original drawing from 15 years ago is to the final Zenbivy Bed design.